Premier Frank Hsieh (
"The government is under a lot of pressure for injecting more money into the project, but it's worth it," Hsieh told reporters after the 15-minute ride. "It would be regrettable to give up on it now."
The train departed from Tainan Station, headed northward to Tainan County's Liouchia (六甲) Township and then south to Dashe (大社) Township in Kaohsiung County before returning to the station.
The Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp (THSRC), builder of the high-speed rail system, reached its target of running the bullet train at a top speed of 315kph on Oct. 30.
THSRC chairwoman Nita Ing (
"This is a milestone for us," Ing said, adding that her first experience on the train was very good.
Ing said that THSRC will hold a provisional board meeting next week and a shareholder meeting in January -- instead of May -- to discuss the approval of three new board directors representing the government, as required by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
THSRC expanded the number of its board directors from 12 to 15 seats last month after the government decided to pump another NT$7.5 billion (US$223 million) into the project. That amount included NT$4.5 billion from the China Aviation Development Foundation and NT$3 billion from China Technical Consultant Inc.
The government currently has two seats in the board but hopes to obtain three more. However, whether the government will be able to occupy the three new seats remains to be negotiated, said Arthur Chiang (江金山), vice president of THSRC's administration division.
The government's holding in THSRC jumped from 11.89 percent to about 37 percent, but 19 percent of that was through purchasing preferred shares, which confer no voting rights, Chiang said.
Ing declined to reveal how much capital the company still needs to complete the project's construction, saying a new fund-raising plan will be released by the middle of the month.
The one-year delay of the project is estimated to cost the company an additional NT$19.3 billion, Chiang said.
Ing announced on Sept. 8 that the firm's board of directors decided to reschedule the opening of the high-speed railway to Oct. 31 next year, blaming delays in the construction of the core mechanical and electrical systems.
THSRC is currently negotiating compensation for the delays with the Taiwan Shinkansen Corp (TSC, 台灣新幹線), contractor for the core system's construction. Yesterday, TSC chairman Takaomi Goto said he hopes the negotiation will be completed by the end of the month.
"I think who should bear the responsibility for the delay is still an open question," Goto told the Taipei Times yesterday.
Becoming familiar with the Japanese-designed bullet train system has taken a lot of time, especially for the THSRC, whose engineers are mostly US and European, Goto said.
Despite the setback in exporting the system for the first time, from a business point of view, the Japanese consortium will still look for other countries in which to introduce the bullet train, Goto added.
The consortium of seven Japanese companies includes Mitsui Corp, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corp, Marubeni Corp, Sumitomo Corp, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Toshiba Electric.
As of the end of September, THSRC said it had completed 89.7 percent of the project, according to a company release. The core mechanical and electrical system which THSRC is responsible for is 66 percent completed, while the project's track and station construction are 83 percent and 93.1 percent finished, the release added.
The Tainan station yesterday seemed far from ready to serve customers, with many areas still blocked off.
THSRC plans to test the track in Taoyuan and other areas in the north starting in January, Ing said.
‘HONORED’: The DPP’s Lin Fei-fan said friends working in the foreign media, the diplomatic corps and at think tanks congratulated him for making the sanctions list The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday slammed China for sanctioning Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and six other Taiwanese officials for being “diehard separatists,” saying its attempt to intimidate Taiwanese would backfire. China has no authority to dictate the actions of Taiwanese, because Taiwan is a democratic nation that upholds the rule of law, and would never yield to intimidation and threats from an authoritarian regime, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news conference in Taipei. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency earlier yesterday reported that the Taiwan Work Office of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee has imposed
ORDNANCE: Under a five-year plan, the Chungshan Institute would make about 200 Hsiung Feng II and III/IIIE, and Hsiung Sheng missiles, an official said The Ministry of National Defense plans to counter the Chinese navy by producing more than 1,000 anti-ship missiles over the next five years, a defense official familiar with the matter said yesterday. The comments came after China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy began a series of military drills in a simulated naval blockade of Taiwan proper following a visit to Taipei by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Although China has in the past few years rapidly produced many warships and added them to its navy, these large vessels are more suited for warfare on the open sea than in the narrow
THAI ASSISTANCE: The representative office in Thailand worked with local authorities to help trafficking victims return home, while one in the group has been charged Eight Taiwanese who were lured to Cambodia with lucrative job offers only to be forced to work illegally were brought home on Sunday night in a joint effort between Taiwanese and Thai authorities, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said. Nine people — six men and three women aged 23 to 42 — boarded China Airlines Flight CI-836 from Bangkok, with assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 9:55pm and were taken to the Aviation Police Bureau for questioning before entering home isolation in accordance with Taiwan’s COVID-19 regulations. The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday
The organizers of WorldPride 2025 have canceled the Kaohsiung event because its licensing group, InterPride, demanded that it remove “Taiwan” from the event’s name, they said in a statement yesterday. Kaohsiung was to host WorldPride Taiwan 2025 after being granted the right by the global LGBTQ advocacy group. However, the WorldPride 2025 Taiwan Preparation Committee said that InterPride recently gave “abrupt notice” asking it to change the name of the event and use “Kaohsiung” instead of “Taiwan,” even though it applied for the event using “Taiwan” in its name. The name was initially chosen for its significance to the Taiwanese LGBTQ community, as